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BELIEVE IN HIM: Symptoms of the heart, part 2

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By Michael Waits

“Take two pills and call me in the morning.”

At times, the heart may produce symptoms of a possible problem that requires immediate medical attention while at other times produce mild symptoms that cause no need for concern at all. For example, a person that is relaxing in a lazy chair may need to consult a medical professional should his heart begin to accelerate at great speed without cause. On the other hand, someone who has been running a marathon would not be as concerned with a higher heart-rate.

Unlike the physical heart, the spiritual heart has only two possible conditions; wicked or righteous. As mentioned last week, these conditions put forth symptoms that can be diagnosed to indicate the state of one’s heart. We have already discussed the heart that speaks with profanity and vulgarity but there are other symptoms that can reveal the condition of our hearts as well. Jesus said, “For out of the heart comes evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness and slander” (Matthew 15:19).

Every town has at least one gossiper, but you didn’t hear that from me! Morris Mandel said, “Gossip is the most deadly microbe. It has neither legs nor wings. It is composed entirely of tales, and most of them have stings.” Do you know anyone that circulates rumors, spreads secrets and speaks with hurtful words? No, I’m not talking about the new presidential administration; rather, I’m talking about those who have private information about people and spread that news with others who have no business knowing it. I’m talking about the intentional defaming of another person’s name or reputation without so much as considering the wound such actions will yield.

The Bible tells us, “A fool’s mouth is his ruin, and his lips are the snare of his soul” (Proverbs 18:7). We find today that the world has placed lesser value on sins such as these considering them “trivial” if nothing less. Because of this foolishness, the world has turned gossip into an accepted form of entertainment in which consumers actually pay to hear more of! Walk into any grocery or retail store and you will probably find newspapers and magazines devoted to nothing but the spreading of rumor, hearsay and scandalous affairs.

But the Bible speaks very directly to such things when it says, “Those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but also give hearty approval to those who practice them” (Romans 1:32). Gossip is not trivial; it is a serious sin and one not to be tampered with. Jesus said, “The things that proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and those defile the man.” (Matthew 15:18).

Gossip is a symptom of a tainted heart in critical need of renewal. Only God can provide this renewing of the heart by His redeeming gift of salvation through Jesus Christ. If you are guilty of the sin of gossip but desire to restore your heart to God, you can do so by turning from your sin and placing your faith in Jesus Christ.

To learn more contact michael@michaelwaits.com.